Thursday, 9 April 2009
Maundy Thursday synchro-blog
Today, to mark Maundy Thursday, there is a synchronised blogging thing happening. I signed up to it earlier today with a plan to write something tonight. This plan has changed thanks to Him Indoors inviting folk round. I don't mind - I like the folk!
So instead I'll go for a teeny weeny little thought on the Lord's Supper.
Theologically minded types reading this may spot that I'm a bit of a Zwinglian Memorialist, but it doesn't hurt, it's not against the law, and it works for me. Basically that means that I think that when we have communion, it is an act of remembrance. I don't believe in transubstantiation, consubstantiation or anything else, personally. However, I bristle slightly when those who disagree with me say that I believe in communion as a MERE memorial. There's nothing "mere" about memorial services. We don't call funerals "mere" memorials. Okay, so there's a body being disposed of, but even if there's not - if someone's lost at sea and there's no body, we don't disparage the importance of the memorial service by calling it "mere".
My thought on the Lord's Supper as instituted by Jesus on the night on which he was betrayed is simply this:
Every time I conduct a funeral service, I try to find out what I can about the person, if I didn't know them, in order to say something meaningful about their life. I try to encompass a bit about their childhood, their parents, their working life, their hobbies and interests, their achievements, their personality, and so on. And yet when Jesus planned his own memorial service, even though his life was far more remarkable than any of ours, in terms of his birth, his miracles, his message, the ONLY thing he wanted for his memorial service, even though he was to be raised to life (and that too was astonishing), was his death.
This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, poured out for you. Whenever you eat this bread and drink this wine, you proclaim - what? You proclaim my death until I come.
Our deaths don't generally accomplish anything. They bring to an end our accomplishing stuff, in fact. But the death of Jesus was the most important thing about him, and he doesn't want us ever to forget that.